The Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Equine Fatalities, adopted in March of 2019, is the product of a collaboration of the region’s racetrack operators, horsemen’s organizations, breeders’ organizations, racing commissions and regulatory and racetrack veterinarians. Many phases of the plan stem from the 2012 New York Task Force Report on Race Horse Health and Safety and are already in practice.
The Plan incorporates five key goals, including the establishment of regional safety best practices, improved methods to identify horses at increased risk of injury, the implementation of protective factors to reduce the risk of injury, information sharing and communication, and improvement of the general health and welfare of the horse.
The coalition has identified 25 key areas as the initial focus of the Plan’s Best Practices that ensure every stakeholder plays a part: horsemen, jockeys, track and attending veterinarians, racing officials and racing office personnel, track superintendents, racetrack operators and regulators alike. Each Best Practice is reviewed and approved by committee prior to being adopted by the coalition, and each is a living document that can be refined to make it better over time.
The Mid-Atlantic stakeholders and regulators who have committed to the Strategic Plan include Delaware Park, DTHA, Delaware Racing Commission, Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland State Fair (Timonium), MTHA, Maryland Racing Commission, Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Monmouth Park, NJTHA, New Jersey Racing Commission, New Jersey Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Finger Lakes Racetrack, Finger Lakes HBPA, NYTHA, New York State Gaming Commission, New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., Penn National Gaming, Parx Racing, Presque Isle Downs, PTHA, Pennsylvania HBPA, Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association, Colonial Downs, Virginia Racing Commission, Charles Town, Mountaineer Park, Charles Town HBPA, Mountaineer HBPA, West Virginia Racing Commission, and National Steeplechase Association.